PyDev of the Week: Ben Rousch

The PyDev of the Week this week is Ben Rousch (@brousch). He is a contributor to the Kivy project. You should check out his blog here. You can also see Mr. Rousch give a talk about Kivy on Youtube. Let’s find out more about him!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

For the past 15 years I’ve been the entire IT department for Van Dam Iron Works, a manufacturer of commercial and industrial steel stairs and railings in Grand Rapids, MI. I have a BS in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. My programming and IT skills are largely self taught, with a lot of help from the Internet and books. Much of my free time is spent attending and organizing user group meetings and playing with whatever technology catches my interest that day.

Why did you start using Python?

In the early 2000s I was using Visual Basic and PHP for a lot of things, but became frustrated with it as my programs got larger, so I went in search of a better programming language. I tried Python first, but made the mistake of trying to learn it via Zope and Plone – giant frameworks that really turned me off from it. I had multi-year bouts with Java and C# with Mono, and a very brief stint with Ruby, before coming back around to Python via smaller scripts and frameworks like CherryPy. I’ve stuck with Python because I can use it for nearly any program I need to create.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

I used to know PHP pretty well, but haven’t used it in a long time. I do a little bit with Javascript – as any web developer must, and a little with Java for Android development. Python is the only language I would say that I know well.

What projects are you working on now?

At work, I’m replacing an old line of business MS Access program mostly with Django. At home I’m often playing with small Kivy apps on Android. Ultimately I hope to release a Kivy IDE on Android, so you can make Android apps on Android using Kivy, dawg. Recently I’ve gotten interested in embedded platforms like Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I have some big projects in mind, but right now I’m mostly doing small proof-of-concepts to familiarize myself with the technology.

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

Kivy or Django are what I end up using on nearly every Python project these days. If it’s a mobile or desktop GUI app, I use Kivy. If it’s a web app, I use Django.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’ve learned a lot from your frequent blog posts over the years, so it’s great that I can finally give a little back.